Falafel Sandwiches with Sesame Mint Yogurt Sauce

  • Recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman
Total Time:
28 min
20 min
Inactive Prep:
8 min
6 servings


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3 good quality pita breads, cut in 1/2
  • Sesame Mint Yogurt Sauce, recipe follows
    • FIXINGS:
      • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
      • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
      • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
      • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces
        • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
        • 1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
        • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
        • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
        • Salt and pepper


        In a food processor, combine the garbanzo beans, 3 to 4 tablespoons flour, herbs, garlic, cumin, cayenne, egg, and salt and pepper; pulse together until almost smooth. Transfer mixture to bowl. The mixture should be firm enough to form balls; if not, add additional flour as needed. Shape mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Toss in remaining 1/2 cup flour to coat all over. Set aside until oil is hot enough to fry.
        Heat oil over medium-high heat until about 375 degrees F. Test with some extra falafel mix to see if the temperature is right; it should sink and rise to the surface and float. Add falafel balls in batches so as not to crowd them and cook until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Carefully remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

        Fill pita halves with a few falafel balls, cucumber, lettuce, onions and peppers, and top with yogurt sauce.

        Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.